Often I will observe a woman either on social media or in public who has done nothing to make herself presentable. She is dressed in either lounge clothes or exercise attire, has crazy bed head and is wearing absolutely no makeup. The first words out of her mouth (or in her caption) will be something like, “Excuse the way I look, but I just couldn’t be bothered” or “I know I’m a hot mess but I just couldn’t get it together today!”
These interactions, whether on social media or in real life, always make me uncomfortable. However, I think I’m in the minority. It seems that so many people gravitate toward this persona – the woman who isn’t afraid to be raw, unedited and bare-faced.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not advocating that we body shame women who aren’t perfectly put together. Absolutely not. I’m not criticizing these women and I’m certainly not targeting anyone in particular. That’s extremely cruel and I have no intention or desire to hurt people’s feelings. I am, however, wondering what causes us to gravitate toward unkempt, bedraggled and messy looking women.
I think it’s because we want someone to validate us in our messy state. We want someone we admire to say, “It’s okay that you didn’t get out of your pj’s today – I didn’t either!”
Do you want to be validated or do you want to be inspired? We all get out of bed messy, but we don’t have to stay that way. In this post I’m only talking about “messy” as it refers to our physical appearance. I’m not talking about the messy stuff of life that causes us pain and heartache.
Think about the contrast for a minute:
Someone who validates:
- Acknowledges the problem or failure
- Encourages others to be okay with the status quo
- Makes excuses for their shortcomings
- Doesn’t care what people think of them
Someone who inspires:
- Acknowledges the problem or failure and shares how she plans to overcome (or how she has overcome) it
- Encourages others to rise above the status quo
- Acknowledges their shortcomings and looks beyond themselves for a solution
- Treats others with respect
In particular, I want to talk about the difference between not caring about what people think and treating others with respect. Taking the time to make yourself presentable doesn’t have to be a selfish act. It can actually be an act of respect toward the people in your life.
Think about this for a second – if you were going to meet the President or Queen Elizabeth, you would take great care to choose your outfit, fix your hair and make sure your face was at least clean! If you were meeting the Queen you might even spring for a manicure. Why? Because the offices those two people hold demand our respect. In the same way, when you take the time to make yourself presentable for your family, your social media audience or even the people at Walmart, you are giving them your respect.
“…In lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than himself.” Philippians 2:3
Here’s what I hope you take away from this post:
- Find someone who inspires you. Let their behavior encourage you to rise above the status quo.
- Be an inspiration to someone else! Rise above the status quo and treat the people in your life with respect.
I hope you can hear my heart in this post. Please know that I’m not for one second lashing out at people who do the “no makeup/bed head” confessional. I’m not talking about anyone in particular – it’s everywhere! I just want to encourage us all (myself included) to rise above, be respectful, and inspire others to do the same.
Tell me someone who inspires YOU – and better yet, tell them how much they mean to you!